24 Apr 2010

Critical report on rating agencies

6:07 am on 24 April 2010

An investigation by the United States Senate has criticised two major credit rating agencies for helping banks disguise the risks of investments they marketed in the run-up to the financial crisis.

A report by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says Moodys and Standard & Poors, must share some of the blame for the severity of the crisis.

It also said that they were influenced by the banks that paid their fees.

Chairman, Senator Carl Levin, (Democrat) said the agencies let banks "sell high-risk securities in bottles with low-risk labels".

The BBC reports the committee will hear testimony from current and ex-officials of Standard & Poor's and Moody's on Friday.